Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Craft - Home Decor


A few quick ideas in case your home needs some holiday cheer

Miniature Felted Wreaths
Little Miss Pine Cones Go Skiing (more information here)

Winter Display Globes

Mini Stockings (perfect for an Advent Calendar)
Gum Drop Wreath (probably not the best for Hawaii)
Stockings (with link to free pattern from McCall's)(I just bought some fabric to make these, hopefully there will be pictures soon)
Paper Star
Paper Snowflakes and more

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Crrraaackkkk!

Last night I decided to frog a WIP, after realizing it was too small for the intended recipient. One of my circulars fell on the floor, and I diligently picked it up and set it on the couch, thinking it would be safer there. As you can guess from this set up, I was wrong.

Crack

While winding the yarn I managed to plop my foot on top of the needle while it was on the couch, and it snapped. The most frustrating part is that, if I'd stepped on it while it was still on the marble floor, it probably wouldn't have broken because it wouldn't have bent at all. That's what I get for picking things up. ;)

It is (was?) a Knit Picks Harmony needle in size 2.25mm, and I know there have been a few problems with these breaking during use, but this was not normal use and not anything I'd expect any wood needle that small to withstand. People on Ravelry who've had them break during use have been able to get replacements from KP, but I'm not even going to ask because this was totally my fault. Plus, I'd been a bit frustrated that the needles were a little more grabby than I wanted, so I'm going to switch to metal.

I'm placing another order from Knit Pics for the metal needles, but in the mean time, these socks are on hold until the needles come in. With this delay I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish these in time for Christmas. However, in the mean time, I'm trying to finish up the rest of my Christmas knitting. Most of it is almost done, with just a but of finishing. No details yet, as I don't want to spoil anyone's surprise, but here is a picture of all the gifts in my knitting basket.

Gift-mas Knitting

Oh, and the new Knitty is up. I haven't had time to look at all the patterns, but the cover shot is gorgeous.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Holiday Crafts - Ornaments and Such

Ornaments & Other Decorations to Hang
Tissue Paper Silhouettes Ornaments
Glittery Foil Icicles
Dove Ornament

Mini Tree Bunting

Cinnamon Bird Ornaments
(I think I'd be too afraid that, here in Hawaii, these would attract bugs, though ants do hate cinnamon)
Woven Wheat Ornaments
Christmas Pinatas
Candy Ornaments (not real candy, a perfect use for those scraps of fabric)
Retro Ornaments from Foam

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday Crafts - Trees

Despite the lack of blogging, there has been a lot of knitting going on. However, it has all been holiday related, and as the intended recipients may be reading this, the it will have to remain secret for a while longer. So, in the mean time, I thought I'd share a few holiday themed crafts I've found on my travels through the internet. I may even attempt some of these! I'm starting with some trees, check back to see more.

Trees

Stuffed Christmas Trees
Tinsel Trees
Tomorrow Land Trees

Fun Fur Kitschmas Tree
Felted Rosette Tree (and wreath)
Soft Trees
Holiday Print Out Tree
A Different Kind of Tree

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nom nom nom!

Do you ever have those things that seem to be following you? You know, the things that just keep popping up allover the place? For the last few weeks it has been Chicken and Waffles. First it was an episode of Throwdown, then there was some chatter on Ravelry, and then last night it showed up on Iron Chef America.

So, what's a girl to do...? If I still lived in L.A. the easy answer would be a trip to Roscoe's. But I don't, so alternatives were considered. Given my abundance of free time, I figured the best option was to make some myself. Other than buttermilk, we had all the necessary ingredients, and even a wedding-gift waffle maker that we'd never used. One of my sister in laws comes over every Monday for dinner and Heros, so I figured that would be as good a day as any.

I used Alton Brown's recipe for the chicken (though I only marinated it in the buttermilk for about 4 hours), and the waffles from this recipe.

Chicken and Waffles

Overall, the chicken was very good, especially considering I've never made it before. The waffle was decent when I took it out of the iron, but I was having some timing issues and it wasn't nearly as good by the time it made it to the table; I couldn't find the manual for the waffle iron, but I think next time I need to turn it up a bit. I probably should have also turned to AB for the waffle recipe, and then I could have even been able to use my new kitchen scale, and it calls for whole wheat flour so might have been able to delude myself into thinking it was somewhat healthy.


In other, much healthier food news, my latest food addiction is quinoa. I've tried a few recipes, but my favorite is a tabbouleh-esque salad.

The quinoacooks pretty quickly, and while it's cooking I chop some veggies. Usually it's either cucumbers or celery, tomatoes, flat leaf parsley, scallions.
PA171450

Once the quinoa is cooked, it gets mixed with the veggies, along with some salt and pepper. I then like to let it cool a bit, and mix in some feta cheese.

PA171454
(Sorry, this isn't the best picture)

I've been seriously eating this at least once a week for the past month or so. Easy, quick, yummy and healthy. Hard to go wrong with that combination.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I can haz funny?

dog
see more puppies

Actually, my place has looked quite a bit like that with all the frogging that has been going on.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's Soktober... Do you know where your DPNs are?

PumpkinsFirst Off, a bit of fall fun with these Felted Pumpkins. Overall a fun, quick knit. I knit them in the round avoid seaming and purling. The lighter yarn is some yarn I dyed a while back with Koolaide.



Now, on to Soktober. It all started well and I finished my Jaywalkers. The second one seems a bit tighter than the first, but hopefully it will loosen up with some time on the blockers. I really enjoyed the pattern, very easy to work on and remember and the results look great, especially given how easy the pattern is.

Jaywalkers Second Jaywalker Heel

I used Regia Strato Color, and it wasn't exactly my favorite yarn. I liked the color, and it looks great knit up, but there were some random stripes of a maroon/burgundy color which just didn't really seem to fit in with the other colors. I think the yarn will produce a comfortable, long wearing sock. However, it really irritated my index finger as the yarn coming from the ball crossed over it; at one point the skin on that finger was peeling from the irritation. I don't think it was an allergy, but more that the yarn is a bit rough and just the constant rubbing was bothering the skin.



So, the Jaywalker's finished, I moved on to some Giftmas sock knitting. I have two lovely colors of Koigu KPPM destined for gifts, but I wasn't sure on the patterns. I finally decided on Monkey Socks for one of the colors. And that's where the problems started. I really hope I haven't caught kbrow's Koigu curse. First problem was that somehow, about half way through the cuff I must have switched directions. With normal 1x1 ribbing this would have been nearly unnoticeable, but with the twisted rib it was noticeable because the twist showed up only on the top or bottom half depending on if you were looking at the inside or the outside. Knowing full well that this is one of those things only knitters would notice, I almost let it go. But since I wasn't that far into the sock (and I'd also accidentally started knitting from the outside of the yarn), I figured I'd just restart.

Failed Monkeys So, I started again, still keeping with the bamboo size 1s (2.25 mm). I did the ribbing, and the first pattern repeat. About half way through the second repeat I was starting to get very frustrated with the blunt tips on the needles and how bendy they were. So I decided to switch to some of my Knit Picks Nickle Plated DPNs. Somehow, I then decided to use the 0s 2.0 mm). I don't really remember how I decided to go down a size, but I think it was because the metal 1s I had were actually 2.5 mm needles (silly Americans and their reluctance to use the metric system).

All I can really tell you is that it was a bad decision. I finished the rest of the leg, and got partway down the heel gusset before I decided to try them on. Now, these are destined for gifts, and the intended recipient has smaller sized feet that me, and much smaller ankles and calves, but they are just way too small, the calf part is extremely tight around my foot and there's no way they'd fit over the heel.

So, now it just sits there, taunting me. I know I need to rip it out and start again, but I just can't bring myself to do so. it is just so pretty, I'm loving the colorway and the pattern, but there's no way they are going to work. Yesterday was the first day in weeks that I haven't knit at all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sock Progress...

I'm back from my trip, and there was a lot of shopping, but not much yarn (and it was all sock yarn, that's not stash, right...?). However, I've made up for that since then with a trip to Isle Knits and an order on Elann.com. I think this might be the first yarn I've purchased in at least a year and a half. Though I may have bought something last year to finish a specific Christmas present.

Most of the rest of my trip was rather relaxing, which meant lots of time to knit. On the flight I had cast on for the Circle Socks, but, as previously alluded to I wasn't happy with yarn/pattern combination.
Circle Socks
I just don't really like how there are stripes within the circles. I love the pattern (other than all the purling on small needles), but it needs a more solid yarn or one where the stripes are wider.

So, that was ripped, and I switched to the ever-popular Jaywalkers. This seems to be the perfect pattern for the socks.
First Jaywalker
I managed to finish the first one while in Washington, other that the Kitchnering the end, which I wanted to wait to get home to do. I knit the suggested length, but I kinda wish they weren't so long. I could rip out a few inches at the top, pickup the stitches and knit the cuff like a toe-up sock, but I'm having a bit of indescision about that. So, while I try to make up my mind, I've stalled a little on the second until I figure out how long to make it.

The first:
First Jaywalker

Second, in progress:
Second Jaywalker, WIP

I do have a few other things going on, and I'm trying to figure out what to do next. What I'd like to do is knit a top for myself, but I should work on Christmas knitting. I'm hoping to get a pair (or two) of socks done and a few felted items, so I should get working on it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Los Angeles Food Report and a Few Random FOs

Due to my new found (and hopefully relatively short-lived) freedom from the confines of a J.O.B. I decided to make a little trek back California and up to the Portland area. I was having a hard time planning the logistics of the trip because I was trying to coordinate with a variety of other people's schedules, but I bought a ticket on Tuesday and left the next morning (using miles which meant not paying crazy amounts of a last minute ticket). I don't actually have a ticket back yet, but I promise I'll be back.

I'm in Los Angeles now, and wow, I missed this town. Thanks to my wonderful host, In the first 36 hours of being here I manged to get three of the top 5 or so (food) things I've missed. First it was Casa Bianaca for pizza (mmm... sausage). Then Din Tai Fung (at the fancy new location) the next day for dinner, oh how I've missed those little baby dumplings! And Pinkberry, can't forget the Pinkberry (I tried the "seasonal" lychee topping, which was okay, but I think I'll stick to mochi puffs, kiwi and raspberry (or sometimes mango).

Tonight I met up with my two foodie law school friends and we had dinner at Father's Office (yummy burger and sweet potato fries but it was really hot and loud inside). Then we headed to Scoops for dessert; I think I'm in love. After sampling a ton of flavors I had Lychee Jasmin (which was vegan, but very creamy)and Pineapple Hibiscus. Other flavors were Raspberry Balsamic (yummy, but not sure what to mix it with), Salty Chocolate, Salty White Chocolate, Chocolate Jasmin, Maple Oreo, Basil Ricotta, Kola Nut, Coconut Cardamon, Brown Bread (vanilla with grapenuts), Raspberry Orangewater, and so many more (the flavors change everyday). I think I'm in love (whoops, did I say that already).

Food aside, since this is ostensibly a knitting blog, I'll post a few of the FOs I've managed to pull together in the last few weeks. Other than the socks, nothing very noteworthy, but here they are:

Embossed Leaves Socks
Embossed Leaves (aka, My First Socks)

Reverse Bloom Washcloth
Reverse Bloom (This was knitted years ago, but somehow I never wove in the ends. I actually though I wasn't finished with the knitting, but when I pulled this out to finish it last week it turned the weaving in was all that was left.)

Ball Band Dishcloth
Ball Band Dish Cloth (A quick knit when I was waiting for Knitting Olympics (that I didn't end up doing)).

Fishy!!
Fishy! (The knitting has been done for months, but he needed guts and eyes.)


I've also got a few new things on the needles, but I'm not sure about the either's chance for survival, but that's for another post.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Just a little bit of fun!

Found him!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Noodle Knit



From The Scent on Green Bananas

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Cookies

So far I'm enjoying my little freedom. I haven't done any knitting yet, but am going to try to swatch for the Diagonal stitch Top later today. I did bake some cookies (oatmeal cranberry) this weekend, but I think I've lost my baking skills, they just weren't that good. We ended up not baking the rest and just eating the dough, which was much better than the finished product. So, no photos, but I thought I'd share this video.



I've been reading food blogs like crazy and saving a ton of recipes. I've really missed cooking, so I'm trying to get back into it more. I want to tackle pie and making some cheese.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Moving on...

My first pair of socks is officially finished! And I managed to make it in under the two year mark. No pictures yet because I didn't have time to get pictures during the good light, but I'll try to get some soon.

In other news (that I think most of the few readers I have already know), I recently resigned from my job. I don't have a new one lined up yet, but this means that I should have plenty of free time to participate in the Knitting Olympics. Now that I've finished the socks, I'm trying to think of what project I want to tackle. I think a whole sweater is a bit ambitious, and I'd like to do something other than socks, so I'm thinking a sleeveless or short-sleeve top. Right now, these are my top contenders:

Diagonal Stitch Top is probably at the top of the list right now.

A sleeve-less version on the (rather boringly named) "Short Sleeve Top #5 from Vogue Knitting Summer/Spring 2005 is also a top contender.

The next possibility is the Flower Back Sweater (I think I'd do the high back version).

Another possibility is Rusted Root, but I actually think I like it better in the long sleeve versions. If I do a short-sleeved one I think I'll do the modified neck as the really high neck usually isn't very flattering on me.

I'd love to knit Coral, but I don't think there's an English version of the pattern out there yet and I don't know anyone who speaks Danish.

I hopefully I'll be able to knit from my stash (the whole no job thing and all), so that may dictate which one of these gets made. I need to do some looking and some swatches.

Anyone else planning to participate in the Knitting Olympics? What are you planning on knitting?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Lilikoi.... in the yummy form

I picked up this lilikoi fruit in my walk around the neighborhood yesterday. I wasn't sure if it would be ripe, but it was amazingly sweet (for a lilikoi that is). I didn't take my camera with me, so no pictures of the vines and flowers, just the fruit for breakfast this morning.


Just cut
Lilikoi

Digging in
Lilikoi


All pau
Empty Lilikoi Shells



Alas, no knitting to report. Stopped by Aloha Knitters on Thursday for a few minutes to say hi on my way to pick up food; it was great to see so many people. Welcome back!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Tagged!

I've been tagged, twice!

1.) What was I doing ten years ago?
Just finishing my sophomore year of college, headed home for the summer with a friend to work at my mom's winery.

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today, yesterday (when I wrote this, but forgot to post):
Farmer's market [done]
Walk [done]
pick up around the house[a little]
do some knitting [nope]
find our state tax refund check [done]


3) Snacks I enjoy:
just about everything... apple and peanut butter has been a recent common one

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay off some debts and buy a house (heck, around here that might only buy a condo)

5) Places I have lived:
Philo, CA
Whitter, CA
Studio City, CA
Redondo Beach, CA
Honolulu, HI

6) Jobs I have had:
babysitter
all-around helper at winery (answering phones to cleaning barrels to bottling wine)
after-school program coordinator
special ed and substitute teacher
HR assistant
lawyer

7) Peeps I want to know more about:
Nearly everyone has been tagged by now, hopefully no duplicates here:
Tink
V-Spot Girl
Tina
Any one else...?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Free Patterns! Yay!

My wrist and shoulder have been bothering me a lot this week, so I've been avoiding knitting. I did a bit of work on the sock this weekend (one pattern repeat).

But, I thought I'd share this little bit of knitting goodness that Susan posted about (she saw it on notmartha): Knitting Daily has a free pattern book comprised of the top five knitting patterns the readers voted for. It’s only available to download until May 14. It includes the Sunrise Circle Jacket, which has been on my to knit list since it came out (I even got so far as to swatch for it). There are also some great versions over on Ravelry. I'm often not a fan of the finished products made from variegated yarn, but some of these look great. Here are a few of my favorites which show some of the yarn choices;
from Cleo; from Pediaknits; from schmidtly.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A mini update, some random finds, babbling...

Honestly, I really would like to blog more often than I do. Unfortunately, there often isn't much to report in the world of knitting around here. I am trying to avoid the second sock syndrome, hence I'm slowly plugging away at the second embossed leaves sock. As the other Aloha Knitters can attest, it was a slow start, which took weeks just to cast on and knit three rows/rounds. The first challenge was remembering the ribbed cast on called for. Then, once I figured that out (thanks Barb), I joined immediately, forgetting that you knit two rows flat before joining (I might have just left it, but I think I need the little bit of extra width this provides at the calf). Then I just kept managing to be off on my stitch count. But finally I managed to get going. My ribbing was one off on two of the rows, but really, no one is going to see the top of the sock anyway because these will always be under pants. But I'm going now, and trying not to lose what little momentum I have.

But, I may be in need of some instant gratification projects. I was thinking about knitting up a few felted coasters for my desk at work. But then these nested bowls also recently caught my eye on Design Sponge (actually, I think I saw the link on notmartha.org)


Another thing that I'm really liking is this rug from craftster.org


I was also thinking that maybe I might find the motivation to blog more if I did Project Spectrum.

And then I saw what color it was for this month. Orange and Yellow. No offense to anyone, but those are my least two favorite colors. I think my I own clothes that are every other color but those two. But, July is Purple month. Maybe I can use that as a goal for finishing the second sock.

Never mind, I was looking at last year's 2006's PS.

I think I can find some stuff for this year, April/May covers Earth Tones (green, brown, metallics). And now I have until August/September to finish the sock :) I should start carying my camera around with me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Videos

Here are the two videos I mentioned at knitting tonight



Sunday, February 03, 2008

My First Sock (and a sunset)

It only took about a year and a half of very sporadic knitting (with no knitting done for about a year in the middle), but I have my first sock. I'm not sure I love this pattern with this yarn, and my fat calves stretch it out a bit, but overall I'm happy. Now the goal is not not fall victim to the second sock syndrome.

Pattern: Embossed Leaves, Interweave Knits Winter 2005
Yarn: KnitPicks Essentials Tweed, Plum
Needles: Size 2, Clover Bamboo

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

And, since I finally got around to uploading pictures, I thought I'd share this one from a few months back of sunset from our apartment.
Sunset from the Apartment

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Adorable...

I've been swamped at work lately, so not much knitting other than the few rounds of the Embossed Leaves sock I've been able to pound out at the last few Aloha Knitters in between all the chatting and eating. My knitting lives in my car and only comes out when I'm able to make it to the meet-up. Speaking of the meet-up, its been wonderful the last few weeks, with an abundance of knitters (and crocheters). We've had a a number of wonderful visitors, and the return of some. I'm so grateful for this group (which is sometimes my only escape from work and socializing for the week), and even more in awe of how welcoming they (we?) are.

But, in honor of my hedgehog, which is probably my favorite thing I've ever knit, I just had to share this adorable picture:



Here are two other hedgehog things I randomly found last night while browsing the web:

Found at Rarebirdsfind, Chocolate Hedgehogs:


And, from I Can Haz Cheezburger:
Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

And, in blue hedgehog news, we just picked up a PS3, and I've been playing Sonic. Maybe I need to knit a blue one in honor.